Why are fossil fuels so helpful to humanity? Kathleen Hartnett White answers that question in her wonderful study Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case.
White provides clear answers to these questions:
- How have fossil fuels reduced the cost of light to work, learn, and live by, and how much?
- Why do people in societies energized by fossil fuels have more choices over what to do with their time?
- What are the characteristics of fossil fuels that make them so much better than renewables—explaining why even after billions of dollars of government subsidies to renewables, fossil fuels still provide over 80% of all energy consumed in the United States?
- What are “energy density” and “power density,” and how do fossil fuels compare with renewables in these two critically important measures?
- Why is it that despite ever-rising consumption, proven reserves of fossil fuels keep growing?
- What are the comparative costs of energy from fossil fuels and renewable sources?
- How do fossil fuels and renewables compare on the crucial characteristics of energy sources: reliability and controllability (dispatchability), versatility, portability, and scalability?
Knowing the answers to those questions will equip you to explain to your friends and colleagues why switching from fossil fuels to renewables (chiefly wind and solar but also biofuels and geothermal) harms people in America and around the world—especially the poor.
American citizens face important choices about energy policy. The better informed they are, the better the choices they’ll make. Reading Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case will help you to help others be better informed.